Sweet tooth walk
Halvah, doughnuts and ice wine await on the Lower East Side.
Thu Apr 30 2009
Halvah at Russ & Daughters
Photos: Roxana Marroquin
Start: 179 E Houston St between Allen and Orchard Sts
End: 95 Orchard St between Broome and Delancey Sts
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 1.4 miles
1 Grab a pal and start at Russ and Daughters (179 E Houston St between Allen and Orchard Sts; 212-475-4880, russanddaughters.com) for chewy raspberry jelly rings ($7.49 per pound) or the chocolate-covered seven-layer halvah ($7.99 per pound). Snag some chocolate-covered matzo, which features a layer of toffee hidden beneath a paper-thin coating of dark chocolate and a sprinkling of sea salt ($3, four pieces $11).
2 Head east on Houston Street, admiring (or lamenting) how the 'hood has evolved. Peek into the windows at the new location of Il Laboratorio Del Gelato (188 Ludlow St at E Houston St; 212-343-9922, laboratoriodelgelato.com) to see how their sweet treats are produced before picking out a 20-ounce container of lemon-basil sorbet or olive-oil gelato ($9.25).
3 Head down Ludlow Street, make a right onto Stanton Street, and pop into September Wines & Spirits (100 Stanton St at Ludlow St; 212-388-0770, septemberwines.com) to pick up a bottle of Mission Hill ice wine ($21.99), made from grapes that were handpicked and pressed after the frost, preserving maximum sweetness and resulting in a more concentrated (and alcoholic) product.
4 Hang a left at the end of the block and duck into Bluestockings (172 Allen St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-777-6028, bluestockings.com) to peruse eater reads like Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and Jay Weinstein's The Ethical Gourmet, while nibbling on a vegan cookie ($2).
5 Travel south one block, turn left and visit the righteously old-school Economy Candy (108 Rivington St between Essex and Ludlow Sts; 212-254-1531, economycandy.com), whose walls are lined floor to ceiling with a rainbow of old and new favorites, including Razzles, Wonka Bars and Fruit Stripe gum. Make off with a giant jawbreaker for $1.99.
6 Wind your way back to Ludlow and stop by Babycakes NYC (248 Broome St at Ludlow St; 212-677-5047, babycakesnyc.com). The eco-friendly bakers will tell you that eating agave, a natural sweetener derived from cactus, is like eating your veggies. On that note, pick up a gluten-free chocolate-chip cookie ($1.50 each), or a red-velvet cupcake (gluten free $4.50; made with spelt $3.95) and keep soldiering on.
7 Stroll down Orchard Street and take a left on Grand Street. Inside dusty Tai Cheung Kitchen Supply (349 Grand St between Essex and Ludlow Sts, 212-219-8898), you will find no fewer than six models of the ice-cream scoop. A stainless steel boule de crme glace will set you back $7.95 and keep you in perfect, home-pulled scoops all summer long.
8 At the Doughnut Plant (379 Grand St between Essex and Norfolk Sts; 212-505-3700, doughnutplant.com), homemade jelly ($3), torched crme brle ($3), and traditional cake and yeast doughnuts ($2.50--$2.75) will leave you licking your fingers. Flavors change monthly and are inspired by the season.
9 Power up for the final leg of your journey at Roots and Vines (409 Grand St at Clinton St, 212-260-2363), home of the Counter Culture espresso ($2.25). Attuned palates will note chocolate, caramel and nut in the Espresso Toscano blend.
10 Retrace your steps west to Ludlow, then walk south to Hester Street for pretzels (50--$1.35) and marshmallows (75--$1.50), hand-dipped in Belgian chocolate, at The Sweet Life (63 Hester St at Ludlow St; 212-598-0092, sweetlifeny.com). Don't spoil your appetite before sampling the licorice collection, which includes Dutch Salty, Dutch Honey and Kookaburra mango varieties.
11 Finish your jaunt on the slightly healthy side at Organic Avenue (116 Suffolk St at between Rivington and Delancey Sts; 212-334-4593, organicavenue.com) with a cup of its naturally sweet-tart house-made lemonade ($6), an elixir of lemon juice, lime juice, ginger, agave and Himalayan salt. It has fruit juice, therefore it is good for you. Trust us.
12 Brush teeth. Twice.
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